Li'l Sebastian was arguably one of the most popular characters from Parks and Recreation, and he wasn’t even human. The character was a miniature horse introduced in the third season of the NBC sitcom. While his time on the series was sadly cut short, his legacy lived on through the citizens of Pawnee, Indiana.
The beloved animal was introduced in Parks and Rec season 3 during the Harvest Festival. Leslie Knope and her Parks Department team fought hard to bring the annual festival back from the dead to revitalize the morale in town. In order to attract the local citizens, they brought the town’s most cherished figure, L'il Sebastian. He was an absolute superstar in the eyes of the Parks Department, even Ron Swanson, who rarely likes anything.
During the Harvest Festival, Jerry and Tom were tasked with watching over Li'l Sebastian. They both failed and the mini-horse escaped from his stable. The group boarded the Ferris wheel to look for the horse from above as they blamed each other for losing him in the first place. He was later found wandering around the corn maze much to the relief of the town. Unfortunately, Li'l Sebastian didn’t have much time left on earth.
Later in Parks and Rec season 3, Pawnee’s biggest celebrity, Li'l Sebastian, passed away. The Parks Department was heartbroken, including Ron who claimed the horse's death was only the second time that he cried in his entire life. Leslie and the group decided to throw an elaborate memorial service for Li'l Sebastian. Andy wrote and performed a tribute song in honor of the horse, titled "5,000 Candles in the Wind." Leslie also wrote a heartfelt eulogy that ended with this message:
"Li'l Sebastian, we miss you. But we know you are in heaven, looking down on us, doing your two favorite things: eating carrots and urinating freely. So gallop on, Li'l Sebastian, in that big horsey ring in the sky."
A Li'l Sebastian impersonator was featured later in the series, proving how much the town missed their beloved horse. Li'l Sebastian was actually born in 1986 and lived until he was 25. Prior to his death, he was dealing with a number of ailments including cataracts, arthritis, and diabetes. It was also revealed that Li'l Sebastian had an honorary degree from Notre Dame.
The horse made one more cameo in Parks and Recreation, albeit in a surprising form. During the Unity Concert in the season 6 finale, Li'l Sebastian surprised concertgoers by appearing as a hologram on-stage. He was present during the performers' rendition of "5,000 Candles in the Wind" which has since turned into the official Parks and Rec anthem.